The long-awaited and controversial Bateman’s Bay aquatic and arts centre has been delayed once again – this time thanks to a maritime melodrama half a world away.
Vital elements for the centre’s construction were caught in-transit when the Ever Given, a 400-metre container ship, blocked the Suez Canal for a week last month.
When the container ship became lodged in the busy canal a large traffic jam ensued that ground world trade to a halt.
And in Batemans Bay, ADCO Constructions’ custom-made glue laminated beams from Italy have still not arrived.
ADCO project manager Nick Lyons said the glulam beams were due to leave at the time the blockage happened and are now likely to be another two to three weeks.
“While it wasn’t on one of the ships stuck in the Evergreen queue, the backlog slowed transit through the area,” he explained.
The 32-metre glulam beams form the exposed trusses spanning the pool hall. Glulam is made by gluing together small pieces of timber and shaping it.
Mr Lyons said glulam technology was widely used in Europe and had become a commonly used material in aquatic centres.
“We’ve been using it in these types of buildings for years and the Italian company is the most experienced manufacturer of this type of timber beam,” he said.
As it waits for the timber to arrive, ADCO has reviewed its work program to minimise the impact.
“We just poured our first concrete roof areas on which the large plant equipment will sit.
“We’re pushing forward with the work that we can do,” he said.
The $58 million Batemans Bay Aquatic Centre is expected to open in February 2022.
Work began in September 2020 after ADCO Constructions was awarded the contract for the build.